The Customer–Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your Company with Your Customers′ Cash

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Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Hardback – 02 Sep 2014

Who needs investors? More than two generations ago, the venture capital community VCs, business angels, incubators and others convinced the entrepreneurial world that writing business plans and raising venture capital constituted the twin centerpieces of entrepreneurial endeavor. They did so for good reasons: the sometimes astonishing returns they′ve delivered to their investors and the astonishingly large companies that their ecosystem has created.
But the vast majority of fast–growing companies never take any venture capital. So where does the money come from to start and grow their companies? From a much more agreeable and hospitable source, their customers. That′s exactly what Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Banana Republic′s Mel and Patricia Ziegler did to get their companies up and running and turn them into iconic brands.
In The Customer Funded Business, best–selling author John Mullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative 21st century entrepreneurs working in companies large and small have ingeniously adapted from their predecessors like Dell, Gates, and the Zieglers:


  • Matchmaker models (Airbnb)
  • Pay–in–advance models (Threadless)
  • Subscription models (TutorVista)
  • Scarcity models (Vente Privee)
  • Service–to–product models (GoViral)

Through the captivating stories of these and other inspiring companies from around the world, Mullins brings to life the five models and identifies the questions that angel or other investors will and should! ask of entrepreneurs or corporate innovators seeking to apply them. Drawing on in–depth interviews with entrepreneurs and investors who have actually put these models to use, Mullins goes on to address the key implementation issues that characterize each of the models: when to apply them, how best to apply them, and the pitfalls to watch out for.
Whether you′re an aspiring entrepreneur lacking the start–up capital you need, an early–stage entrepreneur trying to get your cash–starved venture into take–off mode, an intrapreneur seeking funding within an established company, or an angel investor or mentor who supports high–potential ventures, this book offers the most sure–footed path to starting, financing, or growing your venture.
John Mullins is the author of The New Business Road Test and, with Randy Komisar, the widely acclaimed Getting to Plan B.


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ISBN-13: 9781118878859
ISBN-10: 111887885X
Pagini: 304
Dimensiuni: 169 x 241 x 26 mm
Greutate: 0.49 kg
Editura: Wiley
Locul publicării: Hoboken, United States

Public țintă

  • Aspiring and early–stage entrepreneurs
  • Managers in cash–strapped companies and in business units of larger companies that want to grow. Developing customer funded business models for such ventures given that trusted customer relationships often already exist may be a good way to grow.
  • angel investors, high–net–worth individuals, and early–stage VCs. Targeting their investments at customer funded ventures that have won customer traction, we argue, is a better way to go.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in entrepreneurship courses, nearly all of whom would prefer to start a business than work for the man . 

Textul de pe ultima copertă

The Customer–Funded Business should be mandatory reading for every entrepreneur before even thinking about seeking angel or venture capital funding. It s also the perfect what to look for guide for the professional angel investor. I will be giving a copy to every startup that pitches me!
DAVID ROSE, Founder of New York Angels, CEO of Gust; Author of Angel Investing
As a venture capitalist, nothing is more valuable to me than getting first–hand market feedback from customers about their experience with a new killer product. The Customer–Funded Business expertly argues that the best and usually shortest path to developing that killer product is by getting customers to pay for it. By following the precepts of John s book, and financing a business primarily from customers willing to be early adopters, entrepreneurs will have a much clearer and more persuasive blueprint about how to build the business, and therefore have a far easier time raising venture capital (and incur less dilution, too).
BRUCE GOLDEN, General Partner, Accel Partners; Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Venture Investors
I get sent, and buy, a large number of business books every year. The Customer–Funded Business is simply one of the best, most informed books I have read in a long time. Fascinating case histories of customer–funded companies all over the globe. A must–read if you are considering starting your own business, or funding a new initiative.
DAVID GIAMPAOLO, Chief Executive, Pi Capital, London
A book I d like to give to each of the founders we ve backed. In this fascinating study of successful and not so successful customer–funded businesses, John Mullins distills the lessons learned into simple rules. A valuable and entertaining read for anyone seeking to build a capital efficient business.
MICHAEL ELIAS, Founder and Managing Director, Kennet Partners


Why This Book? xv
1 Craving Crowdfunding? Pandering to VCs? Groveling to Your CFO?: The Magic of Traction and the Customer–Funded Revolution 1
2 Customer–Funded Models: Mirage or Mind–Set? Old or New? 39
3 Buyers and Sellers, but Not Your Goods: Matchmaker Models 70
4 Ask for the Cash: Pay–in–Advance Models 98
5 Recurring Revenue: Subscription and SaaS Models 125
6 Sell Less, Earn More: Scarcity and Flash Sales Models 153
7 Build It for One, Then Sell It to All: Service–to–Product Models 177
8 Make It Happen: Put a Customer–Funded Model to Work in Your Business 205
Acknowledgments 239
Notes 243
About the Research 267
About the Author 271
Index 273

Notă biografică

JOHN MULLINS, PhD, an associate professor of management practice at London Business School, is one of the world s most authoritative and best–known voices on the creation, financing, and growth of entrepreneurial ventures. A veteran of three such ventures, including one he took public, his previous books are the go–to sources on the assessment of entrepreneurial opportunities (The New Business Road Test) and on the creation of breakthrough business models (the widely acclaimed Getting to Plan B, with Randy Komisar). John is a frequent speaker to communities of entrepreneurs and their teams, CEOs of fast–growing companies, and investors therein.


there s inspiration aplenty for entrepreneurs looking to do things their own way. (Elite Business, August 2014)

Mullins is a good corporate storyteller, which is what makes this book an engaging read. (Financial Times, August 2014)

A truly different, but comprehensive way of looking at the issue of funding, this book will set the idea juices flowing. (Talk Business, September 2014)

No matter what sort of business you re actually contemplating starting, this is a book you want to read. (Entrepreneur Middle East, September 2014)

..a great book that any aspiring entrepreneur should read.  What is says is such good common sense that it s amazing it took so long to be written. (The Telegraph, December 2014)